PREMIERE: Handkerchief Thief set the bar high with their drop-dead gorgeous debut clip Salted Skin

As Sam McLaren travelled through Africa and Europe, from Patagonia to Mexico, the vision for what the Handkerchief Thief project would sound like came to life.

With inspiration from Bon Iver and Daughter, he escalates his folk sound with electronic instrumentation and vocal distortion, soothing the listener with his enthralling falsetto.

To accompany the melancholic sounds of debut single Salted Skin, Handkerchief Thief has released a music video that dances perfectly alongside the quiet urgency of his song.

handkerchief thief salted skin Sam McLaren

A dreamy journey through an indie-folk masterpiece, Salted Skin shows an unfurling, magnetic level of restraint from Handkerchief Thief.

The milky vocals of Sam McLaren go hand in hand with the milky white liquid which surrounds a woman as she drifts in and out of the deluge. Red, blue and green droplets explode around her face as the intensity of the song builds.

The mesmerising visual effects continue as more colours drift slowly through the void in slow motion.

Lyrically, the song taps into the yearning McLaren felt for his love back home whilst on his isolated journey through the Bolivian Andes. The longing evoked in this track was born from on a two stringed travelling guitar McLaren had during that time.

The track builds from a steady, backbeat drum line before a set of chords on guitar join the fray. The vibrato in McLaren’s voice could be mistaken for tearful wavering as the lyrics evoke the longing he felt in his isolation:

“My blood is calling out / to see you again.”

Touching on the melancholia of All We Are, McLaren’s falsetto line enters a call and response passage with a high-pitched guitar riff.

The song came to life once he’d returned to Melbourne in Aviary Studios, who have previously worked with Gretta Ray, The Cactus Channel and many more.

Salted Skin is the first taste of Handkerchief Thief’s debut EP titled Hunting For Hummingbirds, which promises to deliver more intricate song construction and delicate melodies.